RECYCLING and PRECYCLING
Just a few ideas of how to recycle products that our food etc comes in. I personally feel that there is far too much unacceptable packaging on a lot of items. I would like to see far less. I would like to see the return of the paper bag wherever possible. And of a jar/bottle return scheme whereby for returning the bottles/jars we get some money back. Like we used to with the lemonade and beer bottles when I was a youngster. Likewise if I give friends a gift of home made preserves I do make it clear that if they give me the jars back they will get a refill next time round which seems to go down very well. We all have a part to play
What is Precycling?
Quote taken from Wilkpeadia
“Precycling simply means reduce and reuse. It is a way of reducing our waste and thinking about our impact on the environment before we purchase. Precycling can simply mean reusing your coffee cup, or carrying around your own coffee mug to reduce waste. There are many things that can not be recycled, therefore we must think before we buy.
Recycling is not doing what is needed to reduce the amount of waste that is produced everyday. Simple tips can help to reduce waste, such as using cloth napkins, since paper napkins are not recyclable. There are also many everyday products that we purchase at the store that can be made at home, in order to reduce the amount of packaging waste.”
We all get junk mail and periodically I get the paper shredder out and go through paper mountain. Deep joy!
Well I don’t like wasting anything at all. I was bought up to be careful so ideally the paper would be best used up as animal bedding or as part of or recycled into home made paper. I also use it to fill up the bottom of my tubs and planters and then put in my soil or compost, it rots down naturally and means that you don’t waste the compost unnecessarily.
Making my own papers is something I am very interested in as I tend to do lots of crafts anyway and I have just started playing with producing my own cards. Paper is a wonderful thing; it is very tactile has kerb appeal and can be made glamorous and is used for lots of different things. It is only limited by your own imagination.
TOILET ROLL HOLDERS
I use these as ready made pot holders for seed - especially like leeks and carrots as they can when the seeds come through be transplanted whole into the soil and the card holder will gradually decompose naturally and not cause a problem for the soil.
KITCHEN ROLL HOLDERS
The same as Toilet Roll holders but for things like celery seed
Can be used as a mulch to put down in the bottom of animal hutches to line planters (helps as does the shredded paper in keeping moisture in the planters and stops them from drying out too quickly)
Making your own paper fire-lighters – separate article on this to come shortly when an article on fires will appear and the most suitable woods for burning
Making your own paper pots - another article to follow
Any sturdy trays that come my way I re-use in the freezer or as a base for growing my own mustard and cress seeds on or for sowing seeds on in my mini greenhouses
At work we have plastic cups that are recycled by a recycling management structure we have in house. Every so often though I get my work colleagues to pass them to me and then I use them for transplanting seedlings on into. This way if I have excess plants I can pass them on to friends etc in their own little pots and its cost me nothing but my time in nurturing the plants on from seed. It also helps them to have a go at growing something at home which hasn’t cost them anything. Sometimes I also take them to a group I belong to that meets once a month and raises money for local good causes. For a small donation they get a few plants and the good cause gets help – it’s a win win situation.
Any jars I find that have decent lids or ones I can get replacement lids for get re-cycled either for jams, sauces or marmalades. They are also sometimes used as storage jars as well for keeping things like picture hooks, mug hooks, curtain rings, curtain hooks, etc in (that way I can find them) when I need them.
Even though these bottles it can be difficult to get replacement caps for. They are still worth using as you can seal them with a cork and sealing wax to make sure that there is a good seal on the bottle. As soon as the seal is broken store the contents in the fridge and use up as soon as is possible.
UNUSUAL SHAPED BOTTLES/JARS
I use as pen holders, or containers as well as storage jars. The Kenco coffee jars are very useful for this as they come in varying sizes. Don’t use the product chat up your friends to recycle specific bottles your way on the promise of some of your home made produce.
GLASS SQUASH AND LEMONADE BOTTLES
Can be used to store your home made cordials/drinks in. Especially if the tops are screw topped – you can sterilize the tops in boiling water for re-use.
WINE BOTTLES and SPIRIT BOTTLES and BEER BOTTLES
As I make my own wine, I recycle the wine bottles that come my way and those that I already have as it saves me having to fork out for new wine bottles which can be a tad pricy. I use the spirit bottles for my home-made liqueurs like Lemoncello, Angelica, Orange Brandy, Toffee Vodka, Bubble Gum vodka.
Don’t have any. Check out your local charity shop. Ask them for all the old jeans that they cannot sell in the shop and make a donation every so often . This is what I have done and managed to get a whole stack of jeans in which to have a go at this craft of creating sturdy rugs for the home. I have washed them all and sorted them all into different shades in which to use. I have my Hessian ready in which to hook or proddy the rugs and I intend to start these this autumn. It is something I can have a go at whilst watching the television in the evenings and make something useful out of for my home. My Nan used to work at a knitwear factory and she used to bring all the trimmings home for turning into clippie or proddy rugs. She always had one in front of the Rayburn in the kitchen, and when there was one on the floor there was always another one on the go. She liked to keep busy.
Cotton clothing can be recycled in patchwork - it make take some time to assemble your chosen fabrics together but hey that’s all part of the fun everything that is worth something in life is worth waiting for. Never done it before frightened of making a mistake. Don’t be that is how you learn. And don’t forget it is the little differences that mark things as your work, it takes practice to make perfect and if you are not practicing how can you get good. Believe me you can do things you just need encouragement to have a go and a little patience and perseverance with yourself.
Old knitted jumpers can with a few stitches be made into contemporary cushion covers that you can snuggle down into on the sofa.